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plant for the month of August
(Submitted by Karin Westdyk)
Turmeric is a perennial herb in the ginger family and is most commonly known in Belize as yellow ginger. It has large, oblong leaves, light yellow flowers, and an underground rhizome that can be planted year-round in Belize, but emerges in the rainy season and remains dormant during the dry.
For nearly 5000 years turmeric has been used for food, as a spice for flavoring food, as a yellow dye and as a medicine for treating many ailments.
Though turmeric is mostly used for its edible rhizomes, its leaves and flowers can also be consumed in curries or in pickling.
Making turmeric powder
- Before drying and turning into a powder, wash the rhizomes and cure them by boiling them until they are soft.
- After cooling, cut into smaller chunks and dry in low heat oven (about 200 degrees) for approximately 2-3 hours.
- Put through food processor, blender, or grinder and strain out powder. Larger chunks left in strainer can go through milling process again until powdered.
- Store in air tight jar in dark place and it will keep for at least a year.
Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk has gained popularity as it is well known as an immune system booster.
To make golden milk, simply warm milk (cow, goat, almond, soy, hemp) adding turmeric, with a bit of cinnamon and ginger to taste.
Medicinal and Therapuetic Properties
Medicinally, turmeric has been used:
- for its antioxident properties
- as an anti-inflammatory and for joint pain
- to improve memory and brain function
- to reduce depression
- to lower risk of heart disease
- to lower blood sugar
- for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties
- to improve digestion